124 – How do we put our prices up?

In this episode:

Interview – How do we put our prices up?

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This is a slightly misleading title, because we talk around this for quite some time.

To start with we spend a little bit of time talking about the systems that we use to actually take the payments from our client.

Dave takes payment upfront for website build work and points his clients to his WooCommerce shop before he starts on any work. He also has clients on recurring payments and for this he’s using WooCommerce’s subscription plugin. He has a bunch of people on old, grandfathered prices, and the newer clients are all on the old pricing.

I (Nathan) use a variety of payment systems. I’m transitioning over to a new payment system, but don’t talk about that too much here as it’s new to me. I have historically used Pancake App to do all my billing. It’s a self hosted script and it’s really great actually. I think that I’m transitioning away more out of shiny object syndrome rather than nay real need. Pancake allows me create invoices and get paid with a multitude of payment gateways. Being in the UK it made the most sense to opt for Stripe, PayPal and direct deposit into my bank account. Turns out that most of my clients would rather pay me directly into my bank account. I can only assume that this is due to the fact the accounts departments have a proclivity to use this. This suits me though because there are zero transaction fees with this setup. The downside is that there is no automated reconciliation. I have to spend time each month comparing invoices to my bank statements. So this is a balance of convenience against time/cost, and at the moment that works out for me as I don’t have hundreds of invoices to reconcile.

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I’m also a huge fan of GoCardless. This is a system which works in the UK (and other parts of the world) which each month sucks out money from my clients websites. They don’t have to do anything and neither do I. The fees are significantly lower than those of rivals such as PayPal and Stripe, so for billable items such as monthly WordPress website care plans, in which the prices don’t alter from month to month, this is perfect. Automated and cheap.

We then move on to talk about how we’ve handled (or not) the idea of putting recurring subscriptions up if you decide that your old pricing it too low. We’re not that clear on how this works – do we have to cancel old schedules and start new ones, or is there a way to just update the payment schedules via Stripe (et al.).

Is it okay to amend prices without telling clients or should we be writing to clients each time an amendment is made. My guess is that we ought to tell them, but perhaps some clever T&Cs can mitigate this, because it’s clear that some clients will jump ship if you raise your prices.

In David’s case his care plans don’t use any of his time; he does not offer himself in the plan. In my case, I offer 30 mins or more of my dedicated time if you keep on the plan. David feels that this means that his prices are less likely to need to rise over time. The more people that go on the plan, the more worthwhile it becomes as an offering. In my case the price need to go up due to the costs of my time.

Do you charge more for work that has a certain urgency from the clients’ perspective? What I mean is, are you willing to offer your services in a way that allows people with a deeper wallet to skip the queue? If a client has something super urgent, can they pay you x2, x3 etc. so that you will get to it right away?

Perhaps you don’t do the whole hourly rate and think that this is a vestige of the past. You should bill for the job and not by the hour? This is certainly true, but we don’t think that it’s always true; there are times when the hourly rate might be a good plan. It might win a client over, and make them an advocate for life.

Do you factor non-client hours into your pricing? What I mean is… you need to keep learning just to keep up. This learning takes time and if you are just pricing based upon the hours that you work, you don’t have any down time, and time when you’re not being superbly efficient. We all need to think about getting more so that when you’re learning, holidaying, you’re still able to be paid. You need to figure this stuff in!

At the end of the day we’re both making it up as we go along! It’s all what we thought was a good idea at the time and has undergone amendments over time.

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: 00:04 Welcome to the WP Builds Podcast bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Walmsley, Nathan Wrigley.

Nathan Wrigley: 00:22 Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once again, this is episode 124 in titled How do we put our prices up? It was published on Thursday the 18th of April, 2019 my name's Nathan Wrigley from picture and word.co.uk, a small web development agency based in the north of England and I will be joined later by David Wamsley from David walmsley.com because today it's one of our discussion episodes. I knew that quite a few people like these discussion episodes and we try to do them as often as possible. Just before we begin, a few things to mention. If you wouldn't mind going to the WP build.com website and then using the links at the top. For example, the first link is the subscribe link and it will allow you to keep in touch with all that we're doing over at WP Builds. You can sign up to two newsletters, the first of which alerts you.

Nathan Wrigley: 01:15 If we put out a new podcast episode every Thursday and I news item on a Monday. The second form allows you to sign up to our alert emails and that will be a plain text email. As soon as I find out if there is a price reduction on a WordPress plugin or theme or something like that, you'll also be able to join us on iTunes, subscribe to us on the Google podcast APP. If you leave any reviews on those platforms, we'd be most grateful. Then you can join our Facebook group, which has over 1,900 members. Now. It's a very friendly place to be talking about all things WordPress and you can find our youtube channel and get messenger updates and so on and so forth, so that's a good place to go. The next one I want to mention is forward slash deals and if you go to that page you're going to find heaps and heaps of deals on WordPress products and services.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:06 If you're in the mind for buying something, it's maybe worth checking that out because we've got all sorts of coupon codes and you never know what you're requiring might well be there. Forward slash contribute. If you want to join us on the podcast and show something that you've been working on, something that you've done recently, something that you're proud of, gladly share my screen with you. We can record it and then distribute it to our community. And finally, forward slash advertise if you would like to advertise on the WP Builds podcasts and get your product or service in front of a wider audience.

Nathan Wrigley: 02:40 Speaking of which the WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by the page builder framework. Do you use a page builder to create your website? The page builder framework is a mobile responsive and lightening fast WordPress theme that works with beaver builder, elemental, breezy, and other page builders with its endless customization options in the WordPress customizer. It's the perfect fit for you and your agency. Go to WP dash page builder framework.com today

Nathan Wrigley: 03:13 And WP admin pages pro. Have you ever needed to add custom admin pages to your client's WordPress dashboard but couldn't find the right tools to do it. Wp admin pages pro is here for you. Create beautiful admin pages using our favorite page builders such as beaver builder, Elementor Brizy and more. Check it out at WP admin pages, pro.com and we thank all of our sponsors for their support of the WP Builds podcast.

Nathan Wrigley: 03:47 Okay, let's get stuck into our podcast today, shall we? This episode entitled, How do we put our prices up and it's just discussion with David and I. We talk about all of the things that we've been doing recently in order to actually charge our customers, what platforms do we use and so on, and then a bit of a discussion about the kinds of things that we've been thinking about when we've had to raise our prices. As always, we've not got the perfect answer, we're just working it out as much as your working it out, but it's a nice discussion nevertheless, and I hope you enjoy it.

David Waumsley: 04:18 And today we're discussing how to we put up our prices. Nathan, I suggested this one, but as we realize, we've no idea what this means because most of us are charging by the project, but I guess, you know, we all do something that's hourly in some form or another or we have some kind of service like care plans. So we've got something to talk about. Yeah. So, yeah, and actually it was interesting talking just before this, uh, that you've had to do this a few times, which is kind of new to me. So I'm, I guess I'm getting ideas from you.

Nathan Wrigley: 04:50 Well, I've not really done a great deal of this, so to be honest with you, I think it would be nice to talk about the sort of how we approach it, but also the technical details and I like everybody else, I've got my way of doing it and it works for me and it's absolutely not ideal. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody particularly, but it works for me and I've kind of got used to it. Um, so there's that. Then there's a discussion about the, like the payment gateways and how that kind of stuff works and wet. And in my case trying to understand that because not really had to grapple with that. Um, so yeah. Should we just break it down and talk about how we, how we actually bill our clients to begin with. How do you go about getting money out of clients?

David Waumsley: 05:36 Yeah, well I moved now almost entirely to productize services so they are paying for those. And I, I mean I said that I didn't really need to put a price as I have all the, all the way along the line. And in fact I've just done it recently with both my build days and my care plan, but I have just taken the, so what they're doing, the client has to go to my WooCommerce shop and pay for it before any works done. And for those things that are on subscription, I've got the WooCommerce subscription plugin working go into Stripe and anybody who's, say, gone on the care plan earlier, we'll continue to be charged at that price. And anybody who comes in new, we'll get charged yearly, in my case, on the new price. So we have the grandfathering going on. That's the same with many of the WordPress plugins.

Nathan Wrigley: 06:28 Okay. Yeah. We can get to that in a minute. And whether that's sustainable and what have you, I'll tell you what, I've got a variety of things that I do. Um, I have a, the most common one for me, and this is a surprise I suppose in a way is email. I very often will, I've got a platform which I'm transitioning away from, but I can't really talk about the new one too much cause I haven't really used it. So I'll talk about the one that I've used for many years. Um, and it's a self hosted PHP script called Pancake App. You can go and find it. I would have thought on the Internet and it enables me to get them to pay via a button on and that connects to Stripe. So let's say there's an invoice for 150 pounds. The invoice, we'll say the total and there's pay by credit card.

Nathan Wrigley: 07:17 You can change the text so that it says pay by whatever. I'm increasingly thinking that pay by strike might be the way to word it because I think Stripe is now at that maturity that people actually know what it is as opposed to before it sounded better to say pay by credit card. Um, and then there's a PayPal button and also there's a, there's just underneath that it says what my bank details are in the UK we have a sort code and account number and you have to get both of those details right and you, you then have to go onto your own online banking, typing my accountant sort number and pay me. And oddly that is the way that the vast majority of my clients wish to pay. They wish to pay directly into my bank account so they don't use PayPal, they don't use Stripe.

Nathan Wrigley: 08:04 They task somebody each month presumably in their accounting department to go into their online banking type in the amount of money that they owe me and clicked send. The, the burden for that for me is that I have to go and check and manually reconcile all of that. But I actually quite like doing that. It gives me a couple of hours each month away from my normal tasks and I just sit and go through my bank details and look, look down the in column and just match things up. And if I see that something hasn't been paid, I simply just send them another email, uh, in, in my queue of emails and they receive that and hopefully they pay it and it always, they've been paid. I've never had one really, I've got no complaints about this where somebody's endlessly, endlessly, endlessly never paid either. Always get paid. I mean sometimes they're a bit tardy, but usually not.

Nathan Wrigley: 08:56 So yeah, kind of like the old fashioned days, I get paid mostly by the bank, but in the UK we also have this system called GoCardless, which is a direct debit mandate app and it allows you to set up a recurring or one off payment and the fees are ridiculously low. So as of about a year and a half ago, anybody coming onto my care plan, because that pricing is utterly predictable, it's going to be the same every single year or month. I set that up and they, they join onto it and then it just automates it in the same way that Stripe would, but the fees are significantly lower, so I do that now. The other, the other thing that I've never really had to do is change the price on the fly. So my care plans have only really been up and running for, let's say a couple of years, and they are the same price today as they were a couple of years ago. And in terms of the technical details of how I would actually go around changing those, I'm really not that sure. Do you have experience of having to change electronic payments that are sort of scheduled recurring payments?

David Waumsley: 10:07 Why did the classic mistake, when I first set up the care plans, I've, I actually set it to expire after one year. So first people came and I realized, Oh, they're plan had expired. They had to sign up again for new one because I hadn't set it to two. Never end. Oh, okay. Yeah. As far as I understand, and I've not explored this because it's been a simple process to put the care plan up a little bit on one of them because yeah, as I just described, you know, the new people get their price and the old people stay as they were. What I haven't explored, I'm sure it is possible for me to manually change the amount that they're supposed to be paid on the earlier agreement. I could put up the other people if I want to do I guess, but I haven't checked it out.

Nathan Wrigley: 10:50 So we think, although neither of us actually know that it's possible. Let's, let's go with Stripe as an example. We think it's possible to take a 100 pounds per month, uh, subscription, let's call it that. And without informing the clients, we could increase that to 110 now, presumably, although again, we both ignorant of this, that would trigger some kind of email to the client to say, this is going up, or can you just do it arbitrarily and not tell anybody anything?

David Waumsley: 11:23 Yeah. You know what? I should have checked this one out because I don't know, it would seem wrong, wouldn't it for me to be able to change the, the payment amount? Yes. But essentially as far as Stripes concern with WooCommerce is just Stripes just doing what we've commerce tells it to do. I, I tell WooCommerce what to do so I can't see, I can't see any reason why I couldn't do it, but it would be wrong wouldn't it for me to just put the prices up without telling somebody yes.

Nathan Wrigley: 11:51 You might have to go into your email client and just tell them all, presumably wanted to tell him on some kind of autoresponder. Just tell them all that this is going to happen. Um, and how would you handle that then? Would you, would you get them to, would you break the connection between all of your current subscriptions and then say, please come back and sign up because the, the old plans are going away? Or would you, would you rather try to increase them with an email and assume that no response to that email is authorization to go ahead?

David Waumsley: 12:26 Yeah, it's pretty dangerous. One that isn't it. It's really good debate cause I haven't really thought about it. My, my principal at the moment is and whether it's sustainable, it is to never do that, you know, always to let people come in at the agreed amount if I should be forced to do it. I think my gut at the moment would be just to end that agreement and make them go sign up so they had to go to the landing page which explained what they were signing up to again. Right, right. It's just to keep things clear, but maybe some people I might know better and I could have a, an email discussion with them about what we're doing and then and say, is it okay to do that?

Nathan Wrigley: 13:02 It'd be interesting if anybody's a Stripe experts, you know, if they could give us the low down on how to do this because if this were possible, presumably part of your terms and conditions that they, I'm again not putting the cart before the horse, but I'm presuming they have to tick a box on your checkout page to say, I've read the terms and conditions. You could include such terms and conditions in your, uh, you know, in that, in that checkout procedures such that the, you are in titled with email being delivered and sent out to put the prices up and make the assumption that unless they refuse those payments or jump off your plan, that this is all going to be acceptable.

David Waumsley: 13:46 Yeah. Do you think is wrong though? Don't, I didn't have on those initial people any terms and conditions anyway for them to sign. But I always feel, I mean everybody feels cheated, don't they? If somebody points you to the terms and conditions, we were allowed to do that. Yes. So I would, gosh, I would avoid that with, you know, to the utmost. I would avoid doing that kind of thing to a client because it would throw things out. So I don't know. I still think, you know, to be honest, there's another discussion. Do you know, do we really ever need to put our prices up? I'm not, are things not becoming more cheap or more efficient as the cost of, say, a hosting services even get in a little bit less over time?

Nathan Wrigley: 14:29 Yeah, I guess if you take a snapshot of just a couple of years, which perhaps is what we're doing here because I'm talking about, well I have just mentioned like care plans, which I've only been doing for a few years. Really I've, I felt absolutely no need in that time to to bump the prices up. The prices are today what they were a couple of years ago and I can still, they still make great sense to me in that they are, they are reasonably profitable at those price points, but presumably if the eye well on imaginable though it is, let's say that all of my clients are still with me in 10 years time. Then at that point the value of the pound goodness help us with the wreck. You know what's happening with Brexit soon and all of that seems to be fluctuating at the moment. But let's say that the sterling is worth, you can buy half as much now in 10 years as you can with, you know, a pound, which seems to be the pattern. The value of money decreases by half over a 10 years cycle and then they're not going to make sense and I will need to put them up. So I would say that no, at some point I'm going to have to face this. I think I'm not going to get away with this forever, but, but my clients probably won't be with me for that long anyway. So it might be moot anyway.

David Waumsley: 15:47 Do you not think maybe, and this is the difference between Your Care Plan and mine. Mine doesn't take up my time where it's only, if you'd like service it, the technology side of things on the hosting. So those costs are not spiralling and up. So I and I, because it's kind of scalable, it actually gets more profitable. The more people are there. So because it's not my hours, so I'm thinking that I probably wouldn't need to do that the same as you might because of your hourly rate will need to go up.

Nathan Wrigley: 16:17 Yes. Yeah, we should say that it's part of my care plan. Some of the packages that you just get a bit of time, you know, I'll, I'll sit with you on your phone or whatever. So yeah, good point. Yeah. In your case, maybe, maybe there's the, the price of this technology hosting and so on drops, which it has. I mean it's incredible what you can get now. I know you're a more of an expert about this than I am cause you keep your eye on this because I mostly have my own server and I know what that costs but not really keeping an eye on the market as a whole digital ocean and so on. Um, but yeah, incredible. So maybe, maybe you're right, maybe the price will just continue to fall such that you're 10, 20, 50 pounds a month. It will still be profitable for you in the future. Question is, um, you know, the, the old economic argument of charge, what the market can bear, would you put your prices up simply to keep them feeling cheap?

David Waumsley: 17:12 Yeah, that's a good point. You know, I just talking about generally putting up prices. My colleague needed to do this twice since I've known her. And she, because she does odd jobs for people, she's kind of had to let them know my prices from January or whatever, going up by five pounds on an hour and other things. She's had any pushback from any of this. Our accountant said you really should do it and their accountant is one of our customers. But um, you know, I think that works fabulous. And um, it's just interesting. It made me wonder, well, the other side of it, do we actually sometimes need to put our prices up to show our value?

Nathan Wrigley: 17:55 Is it my clients over time? Well, this is, this is the mantra, isn't it? We hear this all the time in these business communities and Facebook groups and online courses, you know, constantly putting your prices up, making sure that you've vetted the clients and such and such so that you can charge these maximum prices. I don't know. I'm, I'm, yes, I suppose that's true. There's definitely, definitely truth in that. And again, as we've said before, neither you or I are trying to be millionaires with just enough is, is, okay. So, yeah, my prices haven't really changed, but they probably should, but I'm not, I'm not going to try and compete with like the Rock Stars in this industry, you know, and claim that my, the, I'm a, I don't know, 800 pounds an hour bizarre like that cause I don't think my clients will wear it anyway.

Nathan Wrigley: 18:44 But having said that, um, I do less than I used to, but occasionally I'll do like an hourly rate. Uh, so they might phone up and want a particular job and I'll say, yeah, I'll put you in the calendar and we'll do it that those prices have gone up. And I've never ever, ever had anybody say at the point where I say, and it's such and such an hour, nobody's ever said, no, what do you want about everybody's always thought that was reasonable. Um, so that, that's always worked for me. And then very occasionally I've also said, look, you are asking me to do something in 24 hours and really I've got a week's worth of work ahead of you. I'm going to charge you my normal rate plus such and such an hour. And nobody's ever balked at that either. Because in the UK we have the system where, and I presume this is still true, if you, if you work over a certain amount of hours, your employee employer is obliged to pay you more per, uh, per, per hour. So the same would be true for me. You know, you're making me work more. You're demanding that I do something urgently so I'm going to charge you more commensurate to that extra work. And nobody seems to be bothered by that.

David Waumsley: 19:57 Oh, I didn't actually know about this, there's a 48 rule, isn't it? If you're required to work over 48 hours or something, you have to agree to that. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 20:07 And I think there's also certain days isn't there, things like a bank holidays we have in the UK. And if, if, if your employeer, compels you to work on those days, I think they have to pay you a 1.5 times your normal rate. Again, that could be horribly outdated knowledge. That certainly was the case when, um, when I was at, you know, much younger, those kind of figures were always bandied around and perhaps it would be, would be like two times on Christmas Day or something like that.

David Waumsley: 20:32 Yeah, yeah. When I was young, I was used to work on Sundays and you have the bank holidays because it didn't have family commitments and I could earn much more than, you know, so, yeah, absolutely. Do you know, I think that's really valuable, that idea that you can put up and they explain it, that you're going to put up an hourly rate for a job because of the, the basis of your work that week. You know, I think it's perfectly reasonable, isn't it really handy tip, I think,

Nathan Wrigley: 20:56 yeah, it varies. It's really rare to be honest. Most people, not only do they very rarely come to me and say this is very urgent because most people, you know, they're working and they realize that you can't be asked to do it, but it has happened occasionally and they've been willing to stomach it because they need it right away. And I think that's a completely justified, they want something 24 hours from now and it's an absolute must. You're going to be doing extra work and you're going to be staying up. So, you know, you get a bit of a bonus, a bit of a pat on the back for doing that. Yeah, I think that's fine. Yeah. Yeah.

David Waumsley: 21:29 You know, we're going to have people screaming at us saying that we should never be revealing hourly rates anywhere, but I'm not sure how that's possible to do that when it's odd jobs.

Nathan Wrigley: 21:38 Oh, absolutely. I'm very open about the hourly rate. Um, and it, that house crept up over time. And because I issue, well the way that my business works, I'm talking to these people were on the phone, we're in the email. There's no surprises. I'm not trying to catch anybody out. I'm not trying to trick anybody with the amount of hours I've worked or anything like that. They, um, you know, I'll say to them, it's this and wait to see if they think that's okay. And as I said, nobody's ever criticized it because I don't charge a crazy amount of money. So it's completely reasonable. And in many cases it's probably probably less than my clients are earning each hour. So they'd probably think, oh yeah, that's, that's fine. You know? That's fine.

David Waumsley: 22:25 Absolutely. I mean, you know, in some ways my prices have gone down. I started to put them up a little bit, but in the true sense, from the client's perspective, when we used to charge for those first jobs, it took us longer to do. I was working with the genesis framework. I didn't have beaver builder, it's my page builder, which speeded things up significantly. So I was charging them based on my idea of what the hours would be. But for them it was just this kind of project figure. Now if I say my one day builds, it's much less than that project figure. But what they don't know is that it just became, became a lot easier, a lot more efficient for me to sort of build their sites.

Nathan Wrigley: 23:01 We were, so we often find ourselves in these conversations, especially at them. It seems like more than ever of putting our prices up all the time, putting our prices up, getting the maximum. I, I've, I've always taken a slightly different approach in that if it works for me, I'm happy with that. If this, if the figure that I get, if it works for me and I'm not living in London and I don't have great massive, uh, jetting off holidays all the time, so I can, you know, I can live on probably a less than less than many people listening to this can. Um, but we're always talking about putting our prices up to the point where I wonder if people get frustrated with when they're putting out proposals and things and you know, they add 10% or they double their price, so on. Do they, do they always get accepted or do you start to feel, I'm getting knocked back here. Okay. Right now I realize my process gone too high. This is silly. People are not using me because my prices are going up. I wonder at what point you, you start to reign that in and say, wow, I've, I've taken this too far. There's, there's no fresh work now.

David Waumsley: 24:05 Yeah, and I think being, I mean when I started off I was quite happy to take any work because I knew that was my position I think is some ways there's some merit to overworking and doing it too cheaply in the first place when you're picking up clients because once you have picked them up and they trust you and know you to be true, you can kind of increase your rates without I think too much difficulty. Obviously my colleague did and obviously even though it's not so obvious I have done as well, but I think I'd rather get the person in and have that trust then try and sort of, you know, gamble it in the early days of my price. Just maybe I'm too cautious.

Nathan Wrigley: 24:43 No, and I know what you mean in the the, the idea is very beguiling isn't it? The idea of, you know, making a really great proposal, putting together an absolutely fantastic pitch, positioning yourself really well, working out that the client does have enough money to pay you a decent fee. And then at the moment where you actually work out what it's worth, you decide, okay, I'll, it'll be a little bit more than this. I want more profit out of this. Let's, let's add another thousand. Let's add another 3000 whatever in order that there's more profit in this for me. Sometimes that's going to fail at, sometimes it'll work, but it to me and with all my clients, it tends to be a long standing relationship. I build something and then we often keep that relationship going. So by doing it, not tremendously expensive in the beginning.

Nathan Wrigley: 25:37 Um, I, I'll win that because price is significantly important to people, but you know, they're still with me five years later, they're still coming back every couple of months for a little task and a little tweak here and a little tweak there. So my, my reduced fee at the outset ends up being a considerably bigger fee in the long run. Now, obviously it would be ideal if I could charge a very big fee at the outset and still keep them for 10 years. But that's just the position I take. I, I just, I, I, I'm happy with that. I can, I can sleep easy at night with that.

David Waumsley: 26:11 It's our mental blocks and now I guess my mental block is that I'm realizing I'm dealing with other businesses and I think, you know, because I'm always seeing it from my perspective that they are a little bit like me. They're not like the usual consumer, but will likely to be looking at the bottom line on the true value of something in terms of cost because they're running a business and they need to separate the personal life and their business money orientated life. So I expect that they will be analyzing this were probably, truthfully, they're not, they still behave like usual consumers. So value pricing probably really well. Um, I still stuck with it still and I guess I have to be me. And that's really the ultimate thing, isn't it?

Nathan Wrigley: 26:50 Yeah. The, the, the, the sort of myth I think about this though, is that especially, you know, you can't help it on the Internet and on the telly and in your Facebook groups and all of that kind of stuff. There's always, there's always people who are incredibly successful at this stuff. They can put their prices up and keep putting them up and keep putting them out. And it just, it almost feels like it's a never ending cycle. It amazing success. But then of course, you know, there's only one Ronaldo. There are some people that can just do this stuff. They've got incredible skills. They've got an amazing gift of the Gab. They can carry this stuff off. They've got everything going for them and they pull it off and then they, you know, rightly, I suppose, blow their own trumpet, but it's not, not probably going to work for all of us because we can't all be fabulously well paid for doing the same job. That just can't work. So I don't think there's anything too demoralizing in the fact that your prices might creep up as opposed to doubling every six months, you know?

David Waumsley: 27:48 Yeah. Do you ever feel that in the back of your mind you need to have a story if you like something that you know why you justify your prices as as they are? What do you mean do you have, well, in a way, whatever I charge, I think to myself, I have to charge this because half of my time is on unpaid work. Learning about our industry. I have to do so much training, so I have that little thing in the back of my mind. Should I ever be asked? I don't obviously want to push. Well, I do actually. I do want to tell the clients, you know I've really cheap because you don't know about all of what I do that they get paid for. I would like to say that, but I know it would be stupid, but I have it in my head. You know, this sort of justification if you like.

Nathan Wrigley: 28:32 Do you, do you still do that or do you feel mostly now that you're, you can pull off the projects that are coming your way without that learning curve?

David Waumsley: 28:42 Oh yeah. No, it's, but it's not the learning curve for that particular project. I just think in general to do our job, we need to put that amount of time aside. So we just been in this industry means that we can only kind of work, well maybe not half the time, but you know, we are restricted in how long we can work and still remain current and useful in the industry. Yeah,

Nathan Wrigley: 29:02 no, no, it is the truth of it. I don't include that in the pricing. Funnily enough, I did actually have that conversation with a few client right at the beginning when it was starting doing this kind of stuff. So this is like years ago with Drupal and things. I would explicitly draw our attention to the fact that if you went with me, you wouldn't be paying for me to learn it because I understood it all ready. So I made that a bit of a thing. And then in the end I realized that probably wasn't a great conversation to be getting into. So I've, I've dropped making any reference to learning or, uh, or, or any of that long ago. Um, and so I suppose my pricing does just simply, and I'm not very clever about all this stuff. Basically I have to look at my bank balance at the end of the month and workout, does it allow me to pay for all of the things that I need plus a little bit of saving for holidays and so on and so forth and on. I know what that figure is. And so I know that if the incoming work meets that figure, great. If it doesn't, I've got to get more for next month. And so it goes, there's nothing. Um, no, I'm not thinking about learning time or anything. I'm just just trying to get my, uh, I get my monthly average figure traveling through my bank account each month. That's, that's all I'm doing. So, you know, I'm not building an agency. I'm not even trying to build an agency. I'm not doing any of that. So no, very straightforward in my case.

David Waumsley: 30:25 Yeah, no, I wouldn't communicate any of this is just my internal conversation about when I'm pricing what I'm considering in that, you know, the fact of how much time is literally unpaid time and that has to be figured into, you know, what, what they do charge for my hours. But yeah, I guess it's something that our client wouldn't understand and looking at hourly rates.

Nathan Wrigley: 30:46 No, I know what you mean. Um, so no, I'm not that complicated. I'm not, not doing it like that. I'm just, I'm just doing it until it's finished. And then the money, the amount of money has to, has to equal what it has to equal. Uh, cause I was just telling you before we started this conversation, I was working last night to one 30 in the morning. Um, there's no, there's no reason on earth I should be doing that. But it just felt to me that I want it a bit more time off today and quite a few of the tasks I could just be cracking on with. So everybody in my house had sort of turned in and just thought, I'll go for it. And you know, that's fine. It just allows me to do it. I'm not going to be charging extra for that because it was inconvenient. It's just a round about way and I'll get, oh, it'll work out in the end.

David Waumsley: 31:32 Yeah. Well I mean I like the fact that you can just put up your prices as you choose anyway issue because you know, they, they get the, basically you're almost giving them a proposition for every job that's done. You're sending them an invoice and they decide when they're going to pay this in advance. Is that correct?

Nathan Wrigley: 31:49 Quite a bit of that. Like I say, far less than I ever used to. It used to be that my, my work was all really mostly driven by the clock. So I would log the amount of time it took to do this job and log the amount of time to do that job. But now that I've got the care plans going and things this, there's less of that. But yeah, absolutely. Um, and I do, I, like I said, I really do enjoy that sort of time doing something a bit different, which is looking through the bank and getting a general feel of how much has gone in this month and whether it's been paid on time and things because that also gives you a, it does give you a sense of which clients are in inverted commas behaving cause you know, if you're manually checking it and you're not just relying on autoresponders to go out because this person hasn't paid and that's just all dealt with.

Nathan Wrigley: 32:35 I genuinely know in 90% of the cases who are my clients that just immediately pay it because I can match it up. There's the invoice date. Good grief about about less than 12 hours later that was paid for. That's fabulous. Out. That client is great and it happens week, month in, month out. This one over here, they invoice goes out. And I know because I click the button on these send, uh, I've had to send them two emails. So I know that there are a bit more, more hard work. So maybe they're one, two in the future. Think about carrying on with and maybe you're the one that I want to put more time into because I can see that we're working well together.

David Waumsley: 33:18 Yeah, that was great. I don't think we answered that question. Did we really? We just put them up as we need to. Yes, yes. Is the answer.

Nathan Wrigley: 33:26 One thing that I wanted to say about it, I got sidetracked actually and it was about the GoCardless direct debit mandate. Um, that is a system, like I said in the UK that allows you to, to do all of this. I think that that direct debit mandate specifically allows you to put the prices up and down arbitrarily without getting back in touch with them because that's what it is. So as an example, in the UK, you know, everybody will pay for their gas and electricity and all of this with a direct debit. And because that's a movable feast, you know, in, in the winter months, that price will sky rocket because the gas is on and in the summer months it will drop through the floor because you're not heating the house. And so the company you are allowed to charge you what is the correct amount month in, month out. So that's what you sign up for. It's going to go up a bit. It might go down a bit, might go back up a bit. So that I think that's worth putting in there. But I'm not an expert on that. So I'm, there might be caveats

David Waumsley: 34:26 There might be, I guess it depends on the, I mean, as I understood it, if you've got a set amount that you agreed to with the banks on the or director debit you that amount, they can't change. It was my understanding. But they can change when they take that money often have. Right. And that's really can be annoyed that, you know, you agreed that it goes out on the 15th of every month or something, but they can, you know, decide either side to pull that money. Yes, yes. Yeah.

Nathan Wrigley: 34:52 Interesting. If there's any direct debit and knowledgeable people that I'd love to know cause I, I honestly can't face reading that documentation too closely.

David Waumsley: 35:03 Oh, excellent. I think we've come to an end.

Nathan Wrigley: 35:05 Definitely. I would entirely agree that's a good length for the podcast. I think so as as always we've not helped you in any way, shape or form. But um, we have addressed the subject of how do we put our prices up but we've delivered zero results but nevertheless it was nice chatting about it.

Nathan Wrigley: 35:23 Well I hope you enjoyed that episode of WP Builds, David and I nattering on about putting our prices up. As always, please leave some comments in the post either on the Facebook group or on the post itself. That would be most helpful. We always like responding to those comments very much indeed. WP Builds is brought to you today by WP and UP wanting four of us will be directly affected by mental health related illness. WP and UPs supports and promotes positive mental health within the WordPress community. This is achieved through mentorship, events, training and counselling. Please help enable WP and UP by visiting WP and UP.org forward slash give together, we can hashtag press forwards and we appreciate the support of WP and UP in helping us bring you the WP Builds podcast. Right. That's it for this week. I really hope you enjoyed it. We'll see you on Monday for the WordPress weekly news, and if not, maybe we'll see you next Thursday for the podcast. I will fade in some cheesy music and say bye bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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